The Healthy Star rating for food packaging was approved by the Australian Health Ministerial Council earlier this year. Previous to the approval a Federal Government website was set up to assist the public understand the rating system.
Unfortunately the website was pulled down and there has been nothing to assist us with the system since then, until now.
The George Institute for Global Health has now developed and launched a website which rates 55000 packaged foods using the Healthy Star Rating system.
The system uses salt, saturated fat, sugar and kilojoules plus any positive nutrients to determine the number of stars each food is allowed to show on it’s packaging. The more stars (up to five) the healthier the product.
Professor Bruce Neal, a senior director at the institute, said; “We got sick of waiting for the Government’s website. Poor diet is now the leading cause of premature death and disability in Australia. One of key changes over past 50 years has been the progressive addition of salt, fat and sugar in our food. We wanted to give people the chance to see how many stars their favourite products get and compare it to other products.”
The information shown on the new website is from data that was accurate to December 2013 and will be updated regularly or as needed.
Showing a Healthy Star Rating on a product’s labelling is voluntary at this point and some businesses are already moving toward it.
Here is a link to the new website
Written by Rachelle Williams, The Green Food Safety Coach.